Hello, out there!

Dear general area of the city,
Is it quite necessary to blow things up several times a day? I'm not sure what your explosions are for; I suspect they're celebratory, akin to fireworks, but I'm not seeing any fireworks. 

Any time you'd like to let me know, I'd be grateful.

Thank you,
* * *
Don't worry, it isn't necessary to freak out. No one is actually getting blown up; it's just that the little explosions are kind of a pet peeve.

I guess I owe an apology; it's been a while since I've updated ye olde blog. It's not always easy to come up with a cute story or to summarize stuff. For just over a week now, I've been living on my own; my friend's in the Dominican Republic for a giant meeting. Suffering, you know. On the beach. As you do.

Just kidding! But she's sent me a couple glorious beachside sunset photographs, and they make me mildly envious.

As it stands, I've taken this week a tad more slowly than usual, because I can, and because we're about to have probably 2-3 whirlwind weeks, and I feel like I need to prepare myself a bit for that. Last Saturday, at the end of the day, I was thinking about all the things I'd need to do this week, and I was really wondering why I'm here, and whether I'm suited to this kind of work. When I was in seminary, they Myers-Brigged us, and my personality type was in like the bottom 1% of missionary personalities (Maybe that was one of those times where blissful ignorance should have been fostered. Just saying.), and I'm generally pretty aware of a crushing need to fall back and regroup after several days around people. At any rate, I was talking to a friend, and we were praying for God to confirm in some way why I'm here. I kept thinking about Sunday and hoping that no one would ask me out to lunch, but I had a check in my spirit and said I would do whatever God wanted. Well, on Sunday, at the end of the church service, this lady started talking to me. She's new, recently moved over from the D.F., she's lonely, she has a lot of feelings, and she's not well accepted (as far as I can tell) among the other ladies. She asked me what my plans were for the afternoon. I told her that I was planning to go home and study for a Bible study I was supposed to give on Monday. She replied that she had hoped I'd come over for lunch, as she was all alone, and I was alone. So I went to her house, and we ate mole, and then we ended up having an impromptu Bible study, because she was talking about dealing with harmful thoughts and anxiety. I ended up staying there till about 5, but I think that God used me to encourage her.

Monday I had class, and then I gave the youth Bible study on some of the attributes of God. They were very patient with my halting Spanish. Tuesday I ended up at a lady's house till after 1 AM, giving her a Bible study as well. Thursday I did the English class at Krispy Kreme (you seriously would not believe how fancy the Krispy Kreme is here), and we studied Genesis 22. The ladies I was studying with had never read the story of the sacrifice of Isaac, and they were blown away by God's love pictured in the giving up of His Son for us. It was a really sweet time. On Thursday afternoon I received two tiny envoys from some of the neighbors--small children bearing cake. They were adorable. I invited them in and gave them some water (sweaty small children bearing cake) and fruit, and they hung out and talked for a while. Their parents invited me over for tacos, so we ate tacos together that night, and had a night almost completely in Spanish. It was good times. A lot of yesterday and today have been consumed in homework and preparation for the Bible studies next week. It really just takes a lot longer when you have to translate everything, but I'm glad to be at a point where I can work and do that.

I was holding one for someone else, I swear!
Some other fun stuff--two Mondays ago my friend and I got to hang out with all of the teenagers, and we ended up going to this ranch outside the city. It's harvest time for the corn, so it's a big deal to hang out and eat elote--fresh field corn. We played soccer in an empty swimming pool, we had a Bible study, and we ate corn slathered in mayonnaise, cheese, and chili powder. It was a really sweet time just to hang out with the teenagers. I brought my guitar, so we were able to sing, and I let them borrow my camera, so I got some amazing selfies from them.

Aren't they lovely?
Prayer requests
  • My friend gets back into town on Tuesday. She has a lot of travel to get back here, so please pray for her safety.
  • Next week on Thursday we're meeting with a couple that I might work with--they are church planters who really want to work with youth. Please pray for a sweet time together, and that we'd get a sense whether we do need to work together, and that we could begin to build a relationship to that end.
  • We're having visitors next Saturday from the States! We have three people coming from Immanuel to work with us and people from CPD. There's a VBS July 28 - August 1, in a neighborhood where there's been some work, but no church as yet. Please pray for that time, and pray for seeds to be sown. Pray for the CPD people, that they will be excited and encouraged in serving God in that area. Pray for a really good witness among the people.
  • A personal request--my heart and attitude. I read this post by a dear friend of mine, and I was so convicted--I want to have a heart that celebrates what others are excited about. I want to have the energy to rejoice and take part in what matters to other people. I need wisdom here, in knowing where best to spend my energy and time, but I do want to be joyful with and for other people.
  • I feel like I've jumped over some hurdles this week in giving a couple of Bible studies in Spanish. I'm actually in a very good place, in that I'm able to practice and grow my Spanish in a friendly and spiritual environment. 
  • I just want to praise God for speaking to the ladies on Thursday through Genesis 22. It was neat to see one lady get kind of blown away by how much God loves us in sending His Son.
  • It was neat to be able to minister to the lady on Sunday after church. I am very grateful for some of the crazy stories I have to tell about things God's brought me through, so I can share what He's shown me with others. 
  • I was able to watch a movie in Spanish last night and understand most of it.

Thank you for praying for me!

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